Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


MARTINEZ, Maria Cristina1, COMBS, Alyssa2, AMARNATH, Kumar Kartik3, KAPLAN, Hannah4, WINSOR, Mary2, PICKERING, Rebecca A.5, DEOCAMPO, Daniel M.2 and FULLER, Christina H.6, (1)Environmental Science and Policy, Chapman University, 1 University Drive, Orange, CA 92866, (2)Geosciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, (3)Biology, DePauw University, UB 5130, 408 South Locust Street, Greencastle, IN 46135, (4)Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, (5)Geosciences, Georgia State University, PO Box 4105, Atlanta, GA 30302, (6)Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302,

Urban planning in the 1950s left Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V) in Atlanta, Georgia with a community of low income residents vulnerable to various health hazards. Some of the most prominent health hazards result from poor air quality. Nitrogen dioxide, a potent air pollutant and precursor to ozone, is released through the combustion of fossil fuels, various industrial processes, and from the exhaust of motor vehicles. Previous literature suggests a positive relationship between nitrogen dioxide and health risks, and these sources of nitrogen dioxide are overwhelmingly present in NPU-V.

To determine the effects of nitrogen dioxide on NPU-V, Georgia State University worked with ECO-Action to gain insight on the community and its concerns regarding air quality. Samples of nitrogen dioxide were taken using passive OGAWA monitors installed on telephone poles in 26 sites throughout NPU-V as indicators of air quality. Eight of the sites were identified as sites of interest to the community by ECO-Action.

Nitrogen dioxide levels at the selected sites were measured with a spectrophotometer, utilizing UV-vis absorbance, standardized with varying nitrite solutions. The resulting nitrogen dioxide concentrations, which ranged from 6 to 21 ppb, were plotted geographically using ArcGIS 10 and compared to asthma and hypertension rates from the U.S. Census 2010. GIS maps of the sites sampled appear to show higher nitrogen dioxide concentrations along highways and a railroad. Statistical analysis using SPSS Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficients revealed a negligible significance in the relationship between health data and nitrogen dioxide concentrations collected. This preliminary evaluation paves a clearer direction for additional research to further assess the spatial distribution of nitrogen dioxide in the community and its effects on the health of NPU-V’s residents.